Physical and chemical effects of low octane gasoline fuels on compression ignition combustion

Jihad Badra, Yoann Viollet, Ahmed Elsaid Elwardani, Hong G. Im, Junseok Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Gasoline compression ignition (GCI) engines running on low octane gasoline fuels are considered an attractive alternative to traditional spark ignition engines. In this study, three fuels with different chemical and physical characteristics have been investigated in single cylinder engine running in GCI combustion mode at part-load conditions both experimentally and numerically. The studied fuels are: Saudi Aramco light naphtha (SALN) (Research octane number (RON) = 62 and final boiling point (FBP) = 91 °C), Haltermann straight run naphtha (HSRN) (RON = 60 and FBP = 140 °C) and a primary reference fuel (PRF65) (RON = 65 and FBP = 99 °C). Injection sweeps, where the start of injection (SOI) is changed between −60 and −11 CAD aTDC, have been performed for the three fuels. Full cycle computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were executed using PRFs as chemical surrogates for the naphtha fuels. Physical surrogates based on the evaporation characteristics of the naphtha streams have been developed and their properties have been implemented in the engine simulations. It was found that the three fuels have similar combustion phasings and emissions at the conditions tested in this work with minor differences at SOI earlier than −30 CAD aTDC. These trends were successfully reproduced by the CFD calculations. The chemical and physical effects were further investigated numerically. It was found that the physical characteristics of the fuel significantly affect the combustion for injections earlier than −30 CAD aTDC because of the low evaporation rates of the fuel because of the higher boiling temperature of the fuel and the colder in-cylinder air during injection. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1197-1208
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Energy
StatePublished - Sep 30 2016

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was sponsored by the Fuel Technology Division at Saudi Aramco R&DC. The surrogate formulation work at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) was supported by KAUST and Saudi Aramco under the FUELCOM program.


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